Trendy Tuesday: Gallery Walls

Ever end up with smaller pieces of art and photographs, and not know exactly how to display them? Try a gallery wall, which if done right, has as much impact as a large piece of art.  I remember going to my grandma’s house, and she had this massive display of carefully arranged family photos lining both walls of her hallway.  It changed over the years as all of us grew older, got married and had children. A wall of family photos is not my personal style, but working a few into a wall display of other art and mementos makes me pretty happy, and is a great way to personalize your decor. 

 

If you can hang it, you can put it in a gallery grouping.  Hats, mirrors, photos, art, textiles, and found objects all are great additions to your wall layout.  I've even framed a huge leaf I found. This is a perfect way to display small pieces of original art that you might collect in your travels or that might be what your budget affords. 

 

 A great post on how to keep a gallery wall cohesive on  Yes Please

A great post on how to keep a gallery wall cohesive on Yes Please

 Lonny Magazine

Lonny Magazine

 My own gallery wall.  I used black frames to tie everything together. 

My own gallery wall.  I used black frames to tie everything together. 

The Morning Tree - A collaboration with the Hunter Museum of American Art

This Friday night May 5th is the Inspired 2 show at Chattanooga Workspace.  Eighteen resident artists are taking part in a collaboration with the Hunter Museum. Each artist chose one piece in the permanent collection and doing their own work inspired by that piece.  I chose  Rosy Morning by George Inness. 

 

 

 

 George Inness (1825-1894), Rosy Morning, 1894, Oil on canvas 30x45 inches, Gift of the Joseph H. Davenport, Jr. family in memory of Laura Voight and Joseph Howard Davenport, acc#1982.34

George Inness (1825-1894), Rosy Morning, 1894, Oil on canvas 30x45 inches, Gift of the Joseph H. Davenport, Jr. family in memory of Laura Voight and Joseph Howard Davenport, acc#1982.34

Now I will tell you landscapes are not my favorite art.  The place has to remind me of a place I've been for it to resonate with me.  I was immediately drawn to this painting.  In 2010 I kept a Project 365 photo diary, and on the morning of Feb 26th I took a photo of the sunrise coming through the trees as I left for work.  Shortly after midnight on February 27 of 2007  my mother passed away after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.   Back to 2010, though my heart felt the tinge of sadness, the sunlight was beautiful coming through the trees, and I though about what would it feel like if TODAY was the last dawn?  For all we know every morning could be the last.  I noted to myself to have a great day, and I hopped in the car. 

If you look at the painting and then this photo, there's a striking resemblance in color and subject matter. Right down to the fence.  A small cedar tree takes the place of the figure in the painting, or perhaps she is me taking the photo.  

 

 "Last Dawn"  Feb 26, 2010 7:30 am

"Last Dawn"  Feb 26, 2010 7:30 am

We moved around a lot as a child, and discovering the landscaping was always exciting.  Don't judge...until I was 12, I was an only child so I spent a lot of time alone exploring.  And who doesn't love trees?  This tree is my favorite in my current yard, and Mike will tell you that I will get defensive of it.   During the summer it shades the yard perfectly.  Then in 2011, during an outbreak of storms and tornadoes, one of it's huge limbs fell taking out the power in half the neighborhood.  Do you remember that the stars are still up there, and hey, you can see them when all the lights are gone.  In November 2016, six children lost their lives in a horrific bus accident on Talley Road, and it was right on the other side of that tree.  Do you remember daily that it all can change in a moment?  

My grandmother, my mother, and my aunts all crocheted. I tried it but didn't have the patience.  My mother did plastic canvas, and she was always giving me these horrible creations. And I told her they were horrible.   That didn't save me from a set of cow canisters in plastic canvas.   Today, I cherish them. I hide them away, but I cherish them.

I love yarn and fabric, I just didn't have a way to use them that I liked. Then I went to Panipat, India to tour a rug factory. 

 Eat, Pray, Rug in Panipat India 2015

Eat, Pray, Rug in Panipat India 2015

I learned just enough to be dangerous, and I love it.  Friday night May 5th, you can come see my first real woven art at Chattanooga Workspace's Open Studio Night.  I don't know all the rules and techniques yet, and honestly for this piece, there was truly bliss in ignorance.  I used what I'd seen the weavers in India do and what I could learn on Pinterest.   The mixing of colors I learned through 17 years of designing rugs.  I chose to weave my photo using the colors in the Inness painting. What do you think?   It's painting with yarn.   Always remember that life is a tapestry my friend. 

 

 

 

   The Morning Tree     Wool and mixed fibers, paper clay, branches, acrylic  aproximately 13"x16"

The Morning Tree   Wool and mixed fibers, paper clay, branches, acrylic  aproximately 13"x16"

Infinite Spot at Chattanooga Workspace

A couple of weeks ago, my solo show with an intro of my Infinite Spot paintings opened.   I managed to have 6 paintings ready, which was half of what I had hoped to have done.  It seems my concept was easier dreamed than executed.   Better half than nothing!

Last summer when my last cat died I was heartbroken. I wanted to have something to remember him by but didn't want a big cat portrait.  I wanted something a bit more sophisticated that would be more personal to me, but would appear to visitors as a piece of abstract art. I have never liked it when someone would say "My dog died. Will you paint him?"  There's plenty of awesome pet portrait artists, out there and I don't want to be one of them.  What I do want to do is take that animal and make something that captures their essence and reminds the owner of their friend.  To visitors it may appear to be a landscape or simply splashes of colors. 

Painting Tigger's piece, which I entitled Seventeen for his age at which he died, was incredibly healing for me.   I painted Sixteen for my other cat Murfee, but it lacks the feel of the raw emotion that Seventeen has as it was the summer before that Murfee passed. Herein lies the first challenge, to put that emotional loss of a pet into the art.  Obviously it is harder when it's not YOUR pet.

   Seventeen

Seventeen

   Sixteen

Sixteen

Out of the new pieces, Sprawl was my most successful at achieving my goal.  From people that were not involved in the exhibit (their pets were not there), I had the best response from this painting.  Abstract art is not for everyone, and this concept will not be for everyone either, but I was thrilled that that painting got the attention it did.  At a glance it looks nothing like a dog.  His owner responded with "it somehow reminds me of him lying in the back yard." Even the title could imply a landscape. 

   Sprawl

Sprawl

On Watch and Infinite Spot turned out as great animal paintings with a flavor of modern art but they were too literal to really say that's what I was after.  Rocky Shore turned out well, though still a bit literal with the silhouette of the black lab being so obvious.  Overall I was happy with all of them, but would like to take the concept more towards the direction of Sprawl and Seventeen.  With Sprawl I felt more comfortable experimenting because I knew how open the owner was to the concept.  I had told my people they had no obligation to buy their piece, but the second challenge in this project is to balance on the thin line of taking artistic license and at the same time overcoming the feeling that I need change my vision to do exactly what the client wants.  I have to please my client BUT also I have to have the freedom to be doing the art how I vision it. 

  On Watch

On Watch

   Infinite Spot

Infinite Spot

The third hurdle is color. Most dogs and cats are brown, white or black and some orange of course. With Seventeen I took liberty to really make him super orange.  Rocky Shore of course got beautiful greens and blues for his love of water. And in Sprawl I included a swath of blue for his owner's hair (and also his ball that he had between his paws in so many of his photos).  I like to paint with a lot of color, so  is something I will continue work on. 

   Rocky Shore

Rocky Shore

I will do commissions. To have your own Infinite Spot painting in honor of a furry friend, email me at lisa.studio4k@gmail.comThe process will involve a free consultation to learn more about your pet (a healing process in itself) and to see if this is something you'd like. I charge cost of materials and an hourly rate. 

  My muses....

My muses....